After collaborating in various pairings and performing aboard the Smooth Jazz Cruise, the upcoming trek will mark the first time the musicians have toured together playing in the same band.
“I first played with Dave in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ house band, went on the road with him, wrote songs for his Voyeur album and eventually produced many of his records,” Miller said. “I first worked with George when he produced The Brecker Brothers’ 1980 album Détente, but because he worked more on the West Coast, our paths didn’t cross in a major way until 1985. He wrote a song for Miles Davis titled ‘Backyard Ritual’ that inspired both Miles to move into a more contemporary direction and me to write Miles more songs for that album – including the title track ‘Tutu’ – which became his signature recording.”
Another connection the musicians have is Sanborn’s ‘80s television program, “Night Music.” Miller worked as the musical director for the first season and then Duke took over on the second season.
The DMS tour begins May 28 at House Of Blues in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Dates are booked through an Aug. 31 appearance with George Benson at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Additional stops include shows in Buffalo, N.Y. (June 1); Pittsburgh (June 23); Chicago (Aug. 6); St. Louis (Aug. 7); Kansas City, Mo. (Aug. 8); Denver (Aug. 9) and San Diego (Aug. 28).
The group will be hitting up a number of festivals including Atlanta Jazz Festival (May 30); Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, Md. (June 3); Hampton Jazz Festival in Virginia (June 26); Jazz In The City in Seattle (Aug. 12); and San Jose Jazz Festival in California (Aug. 14).
A statement about the tour promises that fans will enjoy “a generous set list comprised of ferocious funk, serious jazz [and] to-the-bone blues.”
Sanborn has worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones to James Brown, Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Linda Ronstadt. Duke has appeared on a number of Frank Zappa albums in addition to collaborating with artists including Dianne Reeves, George Clinton and Deniece Williams. In addition to working with Davis, Miller has recorded with artists including Luther Vandross, Carly Simon, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol.
The DMS tour is being sponsored by Jazz Cruises, which produces The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.